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Antiquities (Scotland)

Volume 65: debated on Tuesday 28 July 1914

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asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that an ancient urn, described by the director of the National Museum of Antiquities as of rather unusual quality and not similar in ornamentation to any other example in the national collections of Scotland, was found recently at Hawcraig; whether it was sent as treasure trove to the King's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer in Edinburgh; whether he advised that it should be placed in the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh; and whether, seeing that there is an excellent museum, called the Perthshire Natural History Museum, in Perth, the principal town of the county in which the urn was found, he will make representations to the proper quarter with a view to the placing of the urn in the Perth Museum?

The reply to the first portion of my hon. Friend's question is in the affirmative. I am informed that the question of placing the urn in the Perthshire Natural History Museum instead of in the National Museum of Antiquities has been considered on a request by the Curator of the former Museum but that, in view of the fact that the urn is of a type somewhat distinct from the other examples of its class in the national collection and of the importance to the public and to students of making the latter as complete and representative as possible it has been decided that the national claim should prevail over that of the locality.

Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that all important antiquities found in Scotland should be sent to the collection in Edinburgh and kept there?

No, but I suggest that where you have such a specimen it is much more valuable to have it in a National collection than in a small local collection.